I collected some oak galls from my local park with my boys in Autumn last year because someone told me it was easy enough to make gall ink, which is a permanent ink that darkens over time.
Oak galls a made by wasps in acorns and are also used by some moths after the wasps are finished with them!
Apparently oak gall ink was used by Leonardo da Vinci! We didn’t follow an exact recipe, but kind of made it up as we went along…but here are some pictures of the process which I hope will give you an idea of what to do if you decide to make some yourself!
1 large bowl of dried oak galls – finely ground (we used a coffee grinder)
Mixed with water and left for a week
1 bowl with rusty things in it – soaked in clear vinegar for a week
Use a cloth to strain the water and vinegar together
Mix with a few teaspoons of gum arabic powder.
then you’re done!